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Professor Joya Chatterji

Professor Joya Chatterji

Professor of South Asian History

Director, Centre of South Asian Studies

Trinity College
Cambridge CB2 1TQ
Office Phone: 01223 3 38577


Joya Chatterji read History at the University of Delhi before taking a PhD in History at Cambridge.  She taught International History at the London School of Economics for several years, taking up a post at the University of Cambridge in 2007. Professor  Chatterji is a Fellow of Trinity College, the Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies and the Editor of the journal Modern Asian Studies.

Subject groups/Research projects

World History:

Departments and Institutes

Trinity College:

Research Interests

Modern South Asian history; imperial and world history; partitions and borders; refugees, migration and diaspora; mobility and immobility; citizenship and minority formation in the late 20th century.

At present, Chatterji is  writing a monograph on the global history of South Asian citizenship, and working on a general history of 'the South Asian Twentieth Century'.

Research Supervision

Professor Chatterji has been involved in the supervision of over twenty-five PhD theses on modern South Asian and imperial history, and on the history of South Asian migration and diaspora. Topics she has supervised include the medical and military history of the British Indian empire, decolonisation and state formation in north-eastern Indian frontier regions, post-partition refugees, relief and rehabilitation, the history of twentieth-century Delhi,  constabulary labour, the state in South Asia, violence, Muslim universities and politics in postcolonial India, landed elites in Pakistan and the history of 'tribal' identity in Bangladesh, Hindu nationalism and Salafism in the South Asian diaspora in Britain, British nationality and citizenship.


Professor Chatterji teaches modern South Asian and world history at Cambridge. She lectures on ‘World History since 1914’ and ‘The History of the Indian subcontinent from the late eighteenth century to the present day’ and supervises, in addition, on ‘The Expansion of Europe from 1500 to the First World War’. She convenes the M Phil in South Asian Studies, and teaches a course, together with Dr David Washbrook, on South Asian mobility, circulation, migration and diaspora.

Key Publications


    • The Bengal Diaspora. Rethinking Muslim Migration (with Claire Alexander and Annu Jalais), (London:Routledge), 2016.
    • Routledge Handbook of the South Asian Diaspora (with David Washbrook), (London: Taylor and Francis), 2013.
    •  The Spoils of Partition.  Bengal and India 1947-1967, (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press) 2007. Translated into Bengali as Deshbhager Arjon, Bangla o Bharat, (Dhaka: Moula Brothers),  2016.
    • Bangla bhag holo, ( in Bengali), (Dhaka: University Press), 2004
    • Bengal divided.  Hindu communalism and partition, 1932-1947, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 1995.


  • ‘Secularisation and Partition Emergencies’, Economic and Political Weekly, December 2013.
  • ‘From subject to citizen:  Rethinking the “post-colonial” immigration order’, in J. Chatterji and D. Washbrook (eds) The Handbook of the South Asian Diaspora, (London: Taylor and Francis Press, 2013)
  • 'Dispositions and Destinations. Refugee Agency and "Mobility Capital" in the Bengal Diaspora,' Comparative Studies in Society and History, April 2013.
  • 'South Asian histories of Citizenship, 1946-52', Historical Journal, December, 2012.
  • ‘Migration myths and the mechanics of assimilation.  Two community histories from Bengal’, Studies in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, (2010).
  • ‘“Dispersal” and the failure of rehabilitation. Refugee camp-dwellers and squatters in West Bengal’, Modern Asian Studies , 41, 5, 2007.
  • 'Of graveyards and ghettos.  Muslims in West Bengal, 1947-67’, in Mushirul Hasan and Asim Roy (eds.), Living together separately.  Cultural India in history and politics, (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2005).
  • 'Rights or charity? Government and refugees: the debate over relief and rehabilitation in West Bengal, 1947-1950', in Suvir Kaul (ed.), Partition of memory, (Delhi: Permanent Black Press, 2001).
  • 'The fashioning of a frontier: the Radcliffe line and Bengal's border landscape, 1947-1952', Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 33, Part I, 1999.
  • 'The Bengali Muslim; a contradiction in terms?', Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Vol. XVI, 2, 1997  (republished in Mushirul Hasan (ed.), Islams, communities and the nation, (Delhi: Manohar Publishers, 1998).